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Protests held at ‘informer’ film premiere

Protests were held by a victims’ group at the premiere of a film inspired by an IRA informer.

Starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess as a Special Branch handler and informer respectively, 50 Dead Men Walking is based on the memoir of the same name by Martin McGartland.

The title refers to the number of lives allegedly saved by Mr McGartland’s actions from 1987 to 1991.

In an interview last year, Rose McGowan (right), who plays an IRA woman in the film, said she would “100%” have joined the IRA had she lived in Belfast during the Troubles.

Several members of FAIR — including chairman Willie Frazer — carried placards as they marched outside the Movie House on Dublin Road on Saturday night while the screening took place to close the Jameson Belfast Film Festival.

One showed pictures of some of the 12 victims of the IRA bombing of La Mon House Hotel.

Another showed the aftermath of the Enniskillen bomb with the words “what part do you want to play in this, Rose?”

Martin Preshur, a Movie House manager, said the protests had been “peaceful”.

“They didn’t cause any trouble to any customers coming in.”

Mr Preshur said the film’s director Kari Skogland spoke at the premiere about her contact with Mr McGartland, adding that she also praised Belfast as a film location.

The Belfast screening was attended by only some of the cast, including Tom Collins, who plays Mikey.

Sir Ben, Miss McGowan and Mr Sturgess did not attend.

It is believed Sir Ben had recorded a three minute message explaining his absence.

Belfast Telegraph

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